I’m trying not to buy any new dresses at the moment. Like I discussed in my post a few days ago, I’m trying to lose a little weight for my health. So I don’t want to get too many new things in case they don’t fit me soon. My wardrobe is also completely full! So right now I’m just saving money and investing in accessories and things that aren’t dependant on my dress size.

The only dress I’ve bought recently was this one for £10 in Primark. I feel in love with the beautiful ditsy floral print and the shades of blue and yellow are just lovely. I also love that it’s a wrap dress, so if I do lose any weight I can just tie it a little tighter.

The dress is lovely quality for the price, the fabric is 100% viscose and has a lovely drape. The ruffle detail that runs all the way round is evenly stitched and sits well. My only misgiving with the dress is that I need to fasten it at the bust with a safety pin, to avoid exposing my bosom to the world. I do find this with most high street wrap dresses, they’re not really designed for busty women. It’s a little shorter than my usual dresses, but I like that about it and I think I’m going to wear this length a bit more. My usual dress size is a 14, but with most Primark things I size up and go for a 16. I’m glad I did with this dress, as the fit is just right and the 14 would have been too small. I would recommend trying this one on to make sure the size is right, rather than just taking it home, like I usually do in Primark.   I wore my dress with a simple gold necklace and my new Flare sandals from Hotter, which I featured in my sandals wishlist. I think the outfit looks really pretty, while still being comfortable and practical enough for a lovely walk in the park with Rob.  I’d definitely recommend this dress if you want something affordable and easy to wear. I also think this will work for years to come as it’s quite a classic style. Just because some clothes are cheap, it shouldn’t make them throwaway and every purchase should have a certain amount of longevity and I think I get that with this dress. Now I just hope they bring it out in another colour way. I may be budgeting, but for £10 it would be hard to say no. have you bought anything nice recently?

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Spring is all about beautiful blooms. As the blossom falls and the wisteria starts to appear, it won’t be long until the rose bushes are in full flower. In honour of the prettiest season of the year, here is a gorgeous Rosewater Cup Cake recipe that I recently created. These are really lovely and fresh and have a lovely hint of rose, without being over powering. If you like the flavour of Turkish delights, then you’ll like these. I think this would be a great recipe if you are planning a royal wedding party for the weekend and want some pretty cakes to serve.

rosewater cup cake

You will need:

 For the cakes

3 eggs

170g caster sugar

170g self – raising flour

170g butter

1 tsp rosewater

 rosewater cup cake

For the icing:

170g butter

350g icing sugar

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp rosewater

½ tsp pink gel food colouring

Rose sugar flowers

Edible rose petals (I get mine from Waitrose)

rosewater cup cake

How to make:

Preheat oven to 180ºc and line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases

Add all the cake ingredients to a bowl and mix quickly until fully combined, I’d recommend usin g a stand or hand mixer.

Spoon evenly in cake cases and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes until golden.

Cool on a wire rack and decorate once fully cooled.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the other ingredients, mix until it has formed a soft buttercream icing.

Pipe onto cupcakes and add rode petals and rose sugar flowers.

rosewater cup cake

As always, let me know if you try this recipe. I always love to see pictures of your baking on social media, so please tag me! My links are below. For more lovely recipes check out my Baking section.

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If you follow me on Instagram or having been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a lot of love for Hotter shoes. Obviously I love wearing gorgeous dresses and dressing up all the time. But I’m also a big walker and I like to take the kids out for outdoor fun and exploring, so I need footwear that not only looks great with my dresses, but also keeps my feet happy when I’m on them all day. A couple of years ago I started wearing Hotter when I fell in love with their vintage inspired range. I got a couple of pairs of their flat comfortable sandals last year and wore them non stop. This year I am lucky enough to have partnered with Hotter to created some posts and to try some of the lovely shoes from their summer collection.

Hotter comfortable sandals wishlistToday I thought I’d share some of my favourite comfortable sandals from their current collection. I’ve also been thinking about how they work within my wardrobe and which shoes would go with some of my most worn dresses, as well as a couple of more casual outfits for trips to the beach or for chilling in the garden. My summer wardrobe always consists of some cropped jeans and lots of cotton dresses with a few pairs of shoes that mix and match well. I put together a little wishlist of some of ,my favourites.

Hotter comfortable sandals wishlist

Sandals from top of page to bottom…

  1. Resort Sandals in Leopard Print (top picture)
  2. Sol Sandals in Gold. I got these last summer and wore them so much. They’re still in perfect condition this year, so I’ll be wearing them with everything again this season.
  3. Resort Sandals in Rose Gold. I have these in another colour way, but I have my eye on this gorgeous rose gold pair.
  4. Dazzle in Leopard Print. These are casual but cute and perfect for wearing with jeans or block coloured outfits.
  5. Hallie in Tango Red. This is another pair that I have, I wear them with all of my dresses with red details. They are great because they’re quite dressy but also not too high for everyday.
  6. Tourist in Sand. These are the ultimate comfy and casual sandal perfect for jeans and casual playsuits. I’d wear these for barbecues and days out with the kids.
  7. Betsy in Rose Floral. I love the pretty print on these. I’d wear them with some of my colourful summer dresses. Like my vintage check one which I wear a lot.
  8. Sol in Tango Red. I already love my gold Sol sandals and I think they look absolutely lovely in red too.
  9. Sol in Brown Multi. I love the mix of colours on these, perfect for picking out the colours in different outfits. these would look great with both dresses and jeans.
  10. Resort in Dark Tan. These are the ultimate versatile sandal to go with everything. They are also really comfortable, so these would be a great all round choice.
  11. Tourist in Salmon. These are such a pretty colour and I think they would look amazing with jeans or some dungarees.
  12. Flare Sandals in Tan Multi. I had these in red last year and they were ridiculously comfortable all summer. I’m looking forward to wearing this colour too. I reviewed these last summer.

Hotter comfortable sandals wishlist

Which is your favourite pair and what would you wear them with? Do you recognise any of the dresses pictured above, they are all inspired by favourite pieces from my wardrobe.

Find the full range of comfortable sandals over on the Hotter website.

This post was sponsored by Hotter who I will be working with on a few posts over the summer. I am so grateful to be able to work with brands who I already shop with and love. All opinions as always are my own. 

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I am very lucky to have a pretty healthy relationship with my body, and luckily it is not something that causes me much upset. However I am currently on a fitness and possibly weight loss journey and there are a few things I wanted to talk about before I write about that. Firstly a little background on my body and it’s journey to where it is today.

I spent most of my life very thin.

I was always a very naturally thin child and teenager. I was lucky growing up to have reasonably big boobs, a little waist, flat tummy and I’m quite an average height. My body is something I was very lucky to grow up not worrying about too much. When you are thin, it is incredible how mean people can be to you about it. This is possibly the only thing that ever really bothered me about my figure at a young age.

My First Pregnancy.

When I fell pregnant at the age of 19 I absolutely piled on the pounds, I don’t to carry my babies lightly! When I had Jess aged 20, I gradually lost the baby weight by walking everywhere (I couldn’t drive back then). I was also completely skint. I went back to work when she was only 4 months old and basically didn’t have much time or money to eat much. I also had an absolutely horrible stressful time around then. This was when I got to my all time thinnest. I was comfortably wearing a size 6 and although this didn’t bother me, when I look back now I don’t even recognise myself.

Finding a Comfortable Weight.

Things got so much better for me as my 20s went on and I found myself at a comfortable size 8-10. This felt like a natural weight to me and I could eat what I wanted, exercise a little and felt very happy and comfortable. I did desperately want another baby though and it took a whole 2 years before I fell pregnant with Lila. Just like my last pregnancy I put on a lot of weight. It didn’t bother me too much as I fully expected to be back in my size 8 jeans after a few months.

After My Second Baby.

I don’t know if it was being a bit older, having a completely different lifestyle or just being happier, but I just didn’t lose much weight. It was so much harder the second time. Since having Lila my weight has gone up and down a bit, but I am at my biggest now. I’ve pretty much been the bigger to smaller end of size 14 since Lila was born, which is fine. I still feel gorgeous and sexy and I have filled a wardrobe with beautiful clothes that fit my body as it is now. There are bits I am self conscious of, like my tummy. there are clothes I wish I could wear, but don’t suit my figure. But I still love my body.

Needing to Lose Weight.

I think I could have comfortably gone on exactly how I was forever, until I got unwell last summer. I was diagnosed with Intracranial Hypertension a condition where your body produces too much spinal fluid and this put pressure on the brain. I started getting very bad headaches and pain behind my eyes and went through quite a horrible time really. I don’t really talk about a lot, because I like to just live my life and get on with it. I might write more about it all at some point when I’m ready. One of the things that is constantly linked with the condition is weight. Most of the people who suffer with IH are overweight women. So one of the things I really need to do to help myself is lose some weight.

Time to Begin.

I have always been very active and generally eat quite healthily. I find diets very emotionally stressful and draining, so for me I want to lose weight gradually by cutting out bad things and making healthier choices. I have also recently gone vegetarian (more about that in another post soon). Mostly I’ve been upping my exercise. I absolutely love going to the gym, walking, running and swimming and over the last few months I’ve been working on getting my fitness levels back up top where they were when I was younger. I’ve also been to a few yoga and Pilates classes and I love them. I feel like I’ve laid the foundations now and I’m ready to start my weight loss journey. I don’t want to lose much and I don’t want to be as thin as I was. But I want my body to be healthy and to work and to be happy.

Loving my Body and Being Kind to it.

I love my body, but part of loving it is being kind to it. I can love it when it was small, when it was big, when it was making my babies and now when it needs work. I do want to write about exercise and food and the steps I’m taking to get well again, but I also don’t want give the impression that there is anything wrong with the way I look now, or how bigger women or smaller women look. This is my body and this is about me looking after me and taking care of me. Most of all it is about health and not size.

It’s weird because I started this blog when Lila was a baby and I was a similar size to the one I am now. I have so many pictures of me as size 14 and obviously far fewer from before. I spent the first 25 years of my life as a size 10 or below and the last 7 as a size 14. I am excited to see where my body will take me over the next few years and I’m looking forward to being able to run faster, swim further, lift heavier weights and stretch to my toes and beyond!

I hope you don’t mind coming on this journey with me! I think that by putting it out there I might feel a bit more motivated to get on with it and put my best foot forward.

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As bloggers we sometimes typecast ourselves into our own little niches. We decide to blog, choose a name, start creating – especially a few years ago when blogging was a little less polished and shiny! I was 26 when I started writing this blog in 2012. I had a baby and a 6 year old, I had just bought a new house and ran a business selling vintage clothes. At the time I just wrote about a bit of everything, it was something I did just for fun.

Now my kids are older and this is in theory my job, the pressure to produce great content, to keep up to date with all my social media and to earn a little bit of money is huge. Luckily I love it a lot, I love writing, I love taking pictures and I love wearing pretty things. Sometimes though I’m aware that the blog isn’t that much of a reflection of me. Lately I’ve been considering mixing it up a bit and writing about a broader spectrum of topics. Mostly because I think I would really enjoy it, I love writing and want to challenge myself a bit more. Just for fun I thought I’d make a little list of things I don’t write about, but would if they fit the blog a bit better.

Motherhood – nothing really defines my life more than my role as a mum. What I do above everything else is raise two girls, I wash their clothes, cook their dinners, help them with their homework and spend my time doing lots of fun things with them. I get exhausted and challenged and I have moments of pure joy, where I feel like the luckiest person alive to two have these two crazy ladies in my life. The reason I don’t really write about mummy life, is because the blog started my little escape and creative outlet. But I do read a lot of wonderful blogs about being a parent and maybe would consider doing an occasional post on life as mum.

Sex and Relationships – I love reading sex and relationships blogs, the more honest the better! However this is something I never cover on the blog. Sometimes I think about writing more about these things, but then I remember my friends and family read the blog! I have got some amazing vintage books and magazines and have thought about doing a little feature on relationship advice from the 40s and 50s. That would be fun!

Thoughts and Feelings – unless you’re my husband or my besties, I’m a pretty closed book. I’m very lucky to have a few people who will listen to me talk for hours on end, so I usually get all my personal stuff out that way! But I do like the idea of writing about certain things and what I think and feel about them, so you may see the occasional more personal post – maybe.

Fashion – Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved pretty dresses. I just really like pretty things. I do in real life, dress very much how I do on the blog, sometimes with straighter hair! But you’ll also see me a lot in gym clothes (I try to work out as often as possible), I also wear jeans a fair amount, for housework and going out with the kids. However I also quite like fashion in general and maybe now I’m a bit older I want to try different styles a bit more. So I might do some slightly different things on the blog occasionally.

Self Care – Since I got ill last year, I’ve focussed on my personal wellbeing and self care a while lot more than I used to. As a mum it’s easy to put yourself last, but ultimately it’s not a good idea. I take a lot of time now to go for walks and runs, work out, get early nights, have long baths and just live my best life. I’d love to share how I find time to do this and what I do to make myself happy and healthy, both mentally and physically. I’ve learnt the hard way to look after myself, while being there for everyone else and I think some of you may find it helpful to read about.

Music – I could probably expose my inner music geek and write about music all day every day. I spend so much time listening my favourite records and can mostly be found singing along to Fleetwood Mac really load all the time! I’d love to write more about my favourite records and what I’ve been listing to.

House and Garden – Ok so I do write about homes and interiors a bit on here, but I really want to do it more. I’m really enjoying working on my home at the moment and would love to share more of that on here. Don’t expect anything to be Pinterest perfect, I like the idea of being realistic and to remember that I have a functioning home with four people, two cats and two fish living in it. I want to write about having beautiful things alongside toy storage and somewhere to hang the washing to dry. Real life stuff! I’m pretty proud of my lovely little house and how I furnish it on a budget.

I’d love to know what you think, obviously there will still be pretty dresses, baking, skincare, more tea than you could drink in a life time etc etc. By the way, I am having so much fun creating content on my Instagram at the moment. I would really appreciate a follow if you don’t already!

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